27 July 2017
How to use bulk SMS service to your advantage
Mobile phone accounts have been outnumbering Australians since 2008 when it reached 21.26 million and surpassed the country’s total population. We are a generation of mobile addicts with phones often being the first thing on our minds when we wake up and the last thing before we go to bed. The Communications Report for 2013-14 states that an estimated 31.01 million mobile phone accounts were active in Australia. Mobile phones are one of the most powerful marketing and communication mediums. It provides immediate accessibility to consumers irrespective of time and area. However, sending individual text messages to countless numbers of consumers is time-consuming and can be a tiresome procedure. Introducing bulk SMS service which sends a single text message to a whole list of mobile phone numbers.
Bulk SMS can increase customer engagement and increase revenue for your company. Mass text messages cut costs as it is a relatively inexpensive method of marketing. Bulk SMS service can be used in numerous instances such as SMS polling to get feedback from your customers, two-factor authentication for internet banking, e-commerce or staff rostering. Bulk SMS provides many benefits, but if used incorrectly can incur dissatisfied subscribers and a bad reputation for your company.
Below are some tips and tricks on how best to use bulk SMS service to your advantage.
Similar to email and social media marketing, SMS marketing should have an opt-in/opt-out option. Customers usually opt out of the service by texting the word ‘STOP’, ‘STOPALL’, ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’, ‘END’, ‘QUIT’ or ‘CANCEL’ sent to a particular number. This complies with legal guidelines and ensures you avoid penalties for sending unsolicited SMS messages. In many jurisdictions, there are privacy and legal guidelines to follow when conducting your bulk SMS service. Your company must be clearly identified within the text message and a contact address should be provided, either a link to your website or a phone number.
View SMS marketing as permission marketing. Customers who are opting in for your service are giving you their private phone number for marketing purposes. SMS messages sent to them should be beneficial and worth their time. Especially in the case of bulk SMS service, be wary of your marketing campaign becoming too much like spam. A good rule of thumb is putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and asking if you would want to receive SMS messages like the one you’re sending? Taking time to review SMS messages before sending them to customers will allow you to reduce the number of subscribers who opt out of a campaign.
Choosing the right target market
Similar to any other marketing channel, your chosen target audience should be studied in order to understand their needs and wants that will attract them to your product or service. This allows you to determine whether you’ve chosen the right target market for your bulk SMS service and determine the appropriate content that is valuable to the recipients. Your target market can be classified into different customer groups based on age, gender, location, past purchases, interests, etc. Take a retail store for example, if you were offering a promotion of free lipstick with a purchase of over $AUD30, you would send your bulk messages to women only as the response rate from men would be low.
SMS is a simple platform with only 612 characters for your message. The content of your bulk SMS service should clearly identify your goals and what you want to achieve out of this campaign. However it should also be precise and significant to the customer group.
As said above, mass text can become too much like spam if the content is too generic and broad. SMS messages should be focused on the recipient whereby all available information on the individual is used to understand their needs and wants, and delivers them the information they need to make a purchase or use a service. This comes down to whether or not your target audience is focused enough. Create content that is personalised and will appeal to the customer group. Market segmentation is key here in order to match individual customers with offers perfectly suited to them. Accurately targeted information to the right customer group will increase sales and revenue.
Make it interactive
The beauty of SMS is that it can be a two-way conversation between you and the consumer. This makes your SMS marketing campaign not only interactive but also engaging to your customers. Ways to increase response rates with customers is by including offers or discounts that have a call to action. Bulk SMS service saves valuable time by automating your marketing campaign.
Bulk SMS is also useful in creating polls to seek feedback from your customers. It can be strategic for your business decision-making by asking for thoughts and opinions from those most important to your business – whether that’s your customers or staff members.
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